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Marathon Asset Management LLP

PRI reporting framework 2020

You are in Direct - Listed Equity Active Ownership » Engagement

Engagement

LEA 02. Reasoning for interaction on ESG issues

Indicate the method of engagement, giving reasons for the interaction.

Type of engagement

Reason for interaction

Individual / Internal staff engagements
Collaborative engagements
Service provider engagements

02.4. Additional information. [Optional]


LEA 03. Process for identifying and prioritising engagement activities

New selection options have been added to this indicator. Please review your prefilled responses carefully.

03.1. Indicate whether your organisation has a formal process for identifying and prioritising engagements.

03.3. Additional information. [Optional]

Marathon's portfolio managers spend considerable time assessing whether company managers are on the side of shareholders when it comes to capital allocation, incentives and overall integrity.


Whilst Marathon is not an activist investor in terms of making outsize bets and then conducting public campaigns for change, our approach has been to meet with companies on a frequent basis over long holding periods and engage in discussions about decision making. We have a dedicated corporate governance specialist, Masanaga Kono, on the ground in Japan. There have been numerous private disagreements over the years and sometimes this has led us to express our concerns to boards. The approach is active in the sense of asking difficult questions rather than presuming that we know better on how a company should be run. On occasion, private engagement is ineffective and we feel that a more proactive approach is warranted. One recent example was with Lixil Group, a Japanese based toilet and plumbing business that Marathon had invested in for over 16 years. In November 2018 the company abruptly removed their CEO. Despite attempts to discuss this with management and the nominations committee, we were left with considerable concerns about corporate governance and disclosure. As a result, Marathon, together with other local and foreign shareholders, called an EGM. The new CEO and COO resigned and on 25th June 2019 a slate of new directors was elected, included the previous CEO Kinya Seto, who may well be reinstated at CEO.

Similar engagements have also been conducted in the UK, for example with IG Group.

 


LEA 04. Objectives for engagement activities

New selection options have been added to this indicator. Please review your prefilled responses carefully.
Indicate whether you define specific objectives for your organisation’s engagement activities.
Individual / Internal staff engagements
Collaborative engagements

04.2. Additional information. [Optional]


LEA 05. Process for identifying and prioritising collaborative engagement

Indicate whether you monitor and/or review engagement outcomes.
Individual / Internal staff engagements
Collaborative engagements
Indicate whether you do any of the following to monitor and/or review the progress of engagement activities.
Individual / Internal staff engagements
Collaborative engagements

05.3. Additional information. [Optional]


LEA 06. Role in engagement process

06.1. Indicate whether your organisation has an escalation strategy when engagements are unsuccessful.

06.2. Indicate the escalation strategies used at your organisation following unsuccessful engagements.

          Direct dialogue with investee companies.
        

06.3. Additional information. [Optional]

Marathon is committed to confronting important corporate issues to achieve the best outcome for our client base. The firm’s preference is to undertake this work directly with investee companies, and may involve dialogue with the board and senior independent directors, letters and other escalation methods available to shareholders. 

Occasionally, Marathon may get involved alongside other shareholders to look to resolve a critical issue collaboratively if in the best interest of our clients; for example, where fighting an action collectively could have a material impact upon shareholder value, or an investment decision was based potentially upon false or misleading information.


LEA 07. Share insights from engagements with internal/external managers (Private)


LEA 08. Tracking number of engagements

08.1. Indicate whether you track the number of your engagement activities.

Type of engagement
Tracking engagements
Individual/Internal staff engagements​

Collaborative engagements

08.2. Additional information. [Optional]


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